Australian Teen Pleads Guilty To Hacking Apple’s Computer Network

A customer stands underneath an illuminated Apple logo as he looks out the window of the Apple store located in central Sydney

A customer stands underneath an illuminated Apple logo as he looks out the window of the Apple store located in central Sydney

The teen's lawyer told the Children's Court of Victoria that the teen, then 16, had broken electronically into Apple's mainframe network many times over a year, downloading 90 gigabytes of supposedly secure files. His Apple-slicing feats supposedly made him well-known in the global hacking community to the point that the details of the case must be refrained.

The 16-year old, it would appear, had extensive knowledge of developing computerized tunnels and bypassing systems to hide his identity; a great deal of detailed instructions and hacking files were found in a folder labelled "hacky hack hack".

"Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems", says an Australian prosecutor.

Serial numbers of devices, including two Apple laptops used to hack into Apple's network, had subsequently been traced as were Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, said a prosecutor quoted by The Age. "We ... want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised", the Apple spokesperson said.

"At Apple, we vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats", a spokesman said. They also confiscated a hard drive and a mobile phone. He even admitted to the police that working for Apple was his "dream job". When Apple noticed the intrusion, the company contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in turn contacted Australian authorities.

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"In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorized access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement". Also found installed on the laptop was the software he'd made use of to execute said hacking. Nearly all these teens grew out of the technology boundary-pushing of their youth, and then went on to live useful lives and contributing to society.

"Young people often make mistakes when they are exploring and rule-breaking especially online - including boasting about their exploits".

The federal police said it could not comment on the case as it is still before the court. His name and other details have been kept private since he is a juvenile offender.

Earlier this month, Apple surpassed $1 trillion (€879 million) in market value, built in part on its reputation as a privacy standard-bearer.

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